Palm Sunday: The Victory of Humility – antidote to Pride and Original Sin

April 1, 2012

An excellent reflection on Palm Sunday and Christ’s Humility.  VERY worth reading!

The events of Holy Week are much more about love and humility.

That’s why on Passion Sunday we read the powerful words of Paul’s letter from the Philippians (2:6-11).  Though the Divine Word was God, dwelling in the serene heights of heavenly glory, he freely plunged to the depths of human misery, joining himself to our frail nature, entering into our turbulent world.  As if this act of humility were not enough, he further humbled himself, accepting the status of a slave.  His act of stooping down to wash the feet of his disciples (Jn 13) was a parable of his whole human existence, for this act was regarded as so undignified that not even Israelite slaves could be compelled to do it.

But that’s just it.  Jesus was not compelled to do it.  He willingly lowered himself in his birth, in his ministry, in his death.  No one took his life from him.  He freely laid down his own life (Jn 10:18).  Others did not have the chance to humble him; he humbled himself.

It had to be so.  The Second Adam had to undo the damage caused by the first.  What was the sin our first parents?  They disobeyed because they wanted to know what God knew, to be like God, to exalt themselves over God (Gen 3).  They were bitten by the Serpent, and injected with the deadly venom of Pride.  The antidote, the anti-venom could only be humility.  The foot-washing, donkey-riding New Adam would crush the head of the deadly serpent by means of loving, humble obedience.

The first-born of many brothers lowered himself to the dust from which the First Adam has been made–indeed humility comes from the word “humus.” But God responded to his humility by exalting him far above Caesars, kings, and even Hollywood stars.  And he invites us to share his glory with him.  But first we must walk on his road to glory, the royal road of the cross.

H/T Anglican Daily Prayer


A Poem for Palm Sunday: GK Chesterton’s “The Donkey”

April 1, 2012

The Rev. Patrick Comerford has posted GK Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” as his Palm Sunday entry in his Lenten Poems series.

The Donkey, by GK Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked,
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry,
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
Of all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient, crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hours and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

***

Here is a further portion of the full blog entry with a reflection on the poem:

The donkey serves as literary device to link birth and death, Christmas and Easter, We often think of the donkey as the lowly, humble, unattractive beast of burden who carries Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. But the Christ Child also rode on a donkey when he was carried in the womb by his mother, the Virgin Mary, to Bethlehem before his birth.

However, this poem points us, not so much to the donkey, but to our “Beast of Burden,” Christ, who carried the burden that no one else could bear – the sins of the world. Christ looked even more “monstrous” than the donkey (Isaiah 52: 14), he was “starved, scourged, derided,” four times in the Gospels he was “dumb,” but his hour of glory came on the cross.

Is the donkey too hard on himself? But then, most us may be too hard on ourselves. If the lowly beast of burden becomes a bearer of the King, then surely Christ can see through the ways our perceptions of our own worth and understanding are at times awry and distorted.

On this day, 1 April, it might be too easy to think of the donkey as foolish. The donkey may be derided as a stupid animal, yet he is used by God for the most triumphal journey in history, highlighting the difference between God’s wisdom and ours. No matter how humble or crushed in spirit we may feel, we are all God’s beloved children and we are all capable of being raised in glory.

Nobody is truly worthless, no matter what others may think. Just as the donkey is an unsung, unloved and unattractive creature who becomes the hero in Chesterton’s poem, so too the most humble and unattractive people, even though they are without social connections or the appearance of being important, are seen by Christ as who they truly are, made in God’s image and likeness.

The donkey remains dumb and does not declare his moment of greatness to those who deride him. Instead, his experience is an internal knowledge of his true value.

The image of the donkey in his moment of glory carrying Christ speaks of the intrinsic worth of every human, and the glory of every human soul in God’s love. In God’s eyes, we all deserve palms before our feet.

***

I’ve really appreciated the Rev. Comerford’s Lenten poetry series this Lent and encourage you to browse through some of the wonderful poems and reflections.


Anglican Mainstream: Holy Week Devotionals

April 1, 2012

Anglican Mainstream has a separate category for its Holy Week devotionals.  The Lent category doesn’t work!

Here are the Holy Week Devotionals at Anglican Mainstream.

***

Note: we here at Lent & Beyond have a separate Holy Week Category as well, though everything for Holy Week is ALSO cross-posted under our normal LENT category.

***

Hoping and praying that the prayers and devotionals and music and art and poems and reflections posted here throughout Holy Week will be a blessing.  As always, we love to get recommendations about resources and materials and feedback as to what has been an encouragement in helping you focus on Christ and draw near to Him throughout Holy Week.

 


A Palm Sunday Prayer of Adoration: What Other King? Only Jesus!

April 1, 2012

Wow! Pastor Scotty Smith’s Palm Sunday prayer at his blog Heavenward today just thrills my heart and stirs up a fresh burst of praise and adoration, making the truth of Palm Sunday come alive.

Here’s an excerpt:

On this Palm Sunday morning, I’m overwhelmed with your humility, your sovereignty, and your generosity. What other king could conquer warhorses and warriors by riding the foal of a donkey? What other king could break the battle bow and the backbone of all warfare by the brokenness of the cross? What other king could ever replace all politics of tyranny and power with a dominion and reign of peace, everywhere and forever? Only you, Lord Jesus, only you.

What other king would offer his life and death for the redemption and restoration of rebels, fools, and idolaters like us? What other king could possibly make prisoners of sin, death, and “waterless pits” into prisoners of hope? Only you, Lord Jesus, only you. There is no other such king.

Who is the King of Glory? It is you, Lord Jesus, and only you. Who is the King of Grace? It is you, Lord Jesus, and only you. Who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? It is you, Lord Jesus, and only you.

Go read the whole prayer.


A Palm Sunday Prayer by Christine Sine: A call to follow the one who welcomes sinners

April 1, 2012

Christine Sine who runs the Godspace blog wrote and posted this prayer for Palm Sunday last year, but it is new to me this year as I was not online much at all last year during Lent or Holy Week.

Let us enter the city with God today

Let us sing hosanna to our king

To the son of God riding on a donkey

With shepherds and prostitutes,

With the blind and the leper

With the abandoned and oppressed

Let us shout for joy at Christ’s coming

And follow the One who welcomes the sinner and dines with the outcast

Let us touch and see as God draws near

Riding in Triumph towards the Cross

May we invite Jesus to come into our lives more deeply this Holy Week, rejoicing that He welcomes ALL to follow Him.

May we allow Him to draw near.

May we take up our cross to follow Him.

May we be renewed in the hope of His eternal triumph!


Palm Sunday and Holy Week Prayers

April 1, 2012

I’ve not visited Creighton Online’s “Praying Lent” site much this year even though it has, in the past, been one of my favorite Advent & Lent sites for prayers and devotionals. But today I’ve appreciated several of the prayers and reflections posted for Palm Sunday:

Here’s one of the Palm Sunday prayers that is posted:

As Christ entered Jerusalem he was greeted as King and Messiah,let us adore him, and joyfully praise him:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna to you, Son of David, King of the ages,
hosanna to you, victor over death and the powers of darkness.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
lead your Church into the paschal feast of heaven.

You made your cross the tree of life,
give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.

Savior of mankind, you came to save sinners,
bring into your kingdom all who have faith, hope, and love.

You can find prayers and reflections for the first 4 days of Holy Week here.


Mark 11:9-10

April 1, 2012

Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10)
      Jesus, please help us join in that throng that is praising you and following you.

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus attr. to S. Sundar Singh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUwpfId1Zr0

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

Palm Sunday: 24, 29 * 103; Zech. 9:9-12**: 1 Tim. 6:12-16**; Zech. 12:9-11,13:1,7-9***: Luke 19:41-48***
* For the Invitatory: ** Intended for use in the morning: *** Intended for use in the evening
Palm Sunday Holy Communion:
Liturgy of the Palms: 118:19-29; Mark 11:1-11a
Liturgy of the Word: 22:1-21 or 22:1-11      Isaiah 45:21-25 or Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark (14:32-72) 15:1-39(40-47)
Monday: 51:1-18(19-20) * 69:1-23; Lam. 1:1-2,6-12: 2 Cor. 1:1-7: Mark 11:12-25
Monday in Holy Week Holy Communion: 36:5-10; Isaiah 42:1-9; Hebrews 11:39-12:3; John 12:1-11; or Mark 14:3-9

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Easter Day: 118:14-29 or 118:14-17,22-24; Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9; Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43; Mark 16:1-8 ).

***** Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012
From: Nigel Mumford
Subject: Daily Quote…
      Jesus said to His disciples, “Preach the kingdom and heal the sick” Luke 9:2. The church is doing a good job “Preaching the Kingdom.” In my opinion, not such a good job in healing the sick! Please help me understand what is stopping the clergy and lay from praying for the sick, or at least talking about it from the pulpit. I am alive because of corporate prayer, and the power of prayer. All the signs of imminent death were present, blood pooling in the legs, the liver and kidneys shutting down etc. My wife was told that I was going to die! I had been on one hundred percent 02 for a long time. When we add our mustard seeds of faith together and pray something happens. Are we only doing fifty percent of what Jesus has told up to do? May I add that perhaps we are only doing a quarter of what Jesus has told us to do; Preach the Kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers. If you are not doing what Jesus has asked us to do please help me understand why some are not praying for the sick. Francis MacNutt quotes, “People are dying because people are not praying for them.” What is the block, what is the fear? Is it that the patient may die or is it that something might happen? What is stopping you from praying for a sick person? I challenge you to ponder and pray about what Jesus said in Luke 9:2 unpack it and see what that challenge means to you. Thank you.

***** Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012
From: Susan Plaske
Subject: Prayer Table Cathedral Of All Saints Wed 3-28-12 Windy and Sprinkling Rain – Dcn. Plaske and Beth Collum 12;05 – 12:30 PM
Dave – Prayed for friend in PA who had gone through a tragedy
Jim – prayed for health and God’s continued watch over him
Carl – restoration of relationship with his two sons

***** Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012
From: Ginnie Grupinski
Subject: Prayer request for Bishop Mike and Linda Chapman
      Good morning everyone. Bishop Mike is travelling to Huancayo. Travelling with him is the “grandfather of the diocese”, so called as he was the first Peruvian Anglican ordained to the priesthood. He is the Vicar General of the Anglican Diocese. ( I believe this means that he oversees all the mission churches in the diocese) They will be receiving four missions into the Angican Commumion.
      This is of course wonderful for all concerned. Please pray for protection, strength and favorable weather conditions. The road they are travelling on is the highest paved road in the Americas, and last time they were held back by snow/ice storms.
      Please pray against altitude sickness…they will be ministering in four communties and it is important that they are well and strong.
      Linda is remaining in Lima during this time. Bishop Mike and company will return to Lima on Monday morning. Thank you everyone for your prayers!

Albany Intercessor


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